Find out what the best video games of 2018 were and what platforms they are available on in our end of year gaming round-up. Only the top titles make our list
Refunct is a short and sweet indie game that provides players with a first person platforming experience that is surprisingly relaxing. Jumping around and filling gray squares with green grass just by touching them is quite soothing and you’ll soon find yourself pulling off moves like wall jumping with ease. The whole thing can be completed in under thirty minutes and there is no risk of every dying, which means it might be a little boring for action fans. However, considering the low price and entertaining gameplay, there are far worse ways to spend those thirty minutes.
Gameplay: Fun and relaxing, but over a little too soon.
Graphics: Quite minimal, but everything looks great and fits the mood of the game.
Sound: Also quite minimal, but once again very fitting
Creating a Leisure Suit Larry in this day and age sounded like a recipe for disaster, but somehow CrazyBunch managed to not just pull it off, but also did so in style. Wet Dreams Don’t Dry is an authentic Larry experience that is filled with corny puns, sexual innuendos, bad pick-up lines and more penis shaped objects than you can shake a stick at. The world in which Larry finds himself is a lot more progressive, but he is the same lovable loser that consistently manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. If you have fond memories of the original games, can handle some adult humor or love the point & click genre, then don’t miss out on Wet Dreams Don’t Dry.
Gameplay: Great puzzles and a rather lengthy adventure.
Graphics: Detailed and colorful, although the new art style may not be to everyones liking.
Sound: Good music and effects, but the highlight is Jan Rabson returning to voice Larry
Solving a murder mystery should be easy when you have the ability to shapeshift into any person you meet, but all is not as it seems in the quiet town of August. Step into the shapeshifting shoes of Sam and figure out whodunit in this latest FMV release by D’Avekki Studios. A girl has been murdered under mysterious circumstances and the clock is ticking as you put your unusual skills to the test. The Shapeshifting Detective is a solid title that will appeal to everyone who enjoys an unusual murder mystery and the story also provides plenty of replay value, so don’t miss out.
Gameplay: As this is an FMV game the interaction with the gameworld is obviously limited, but interrogating people is a blast and the shapeshifting mechanic makes for a novel experience.
Graphics: Not as much FMV footage as Doctor Dekker, but everything looks great in high definition.
Sound: The audio is superb and definitely contributes a lot to the atmosphere of the game
Shadowhand is another entertaining, addictive and polished solitaire based game from Grey Alien Games, creators of the very enjoyable Regency Solitaire. It shares some similarities with its predecessor, but the story is brand new and the gameplay offers enough new additions and tweaks to ensure that it feels fresh. Luck plays a big role in the game, which is unavoidable for the genre, but careful planning and the use of the right items can help a lot. This means the game is a lot more strategic than you might think, and we can heartily recommend it to fans of the genre.
Gameplay: The solitaire based gameplay is addictive as always, but the addition of duels and other elements makes it even better.
Graphics: The art and design of the game looks great and everything feels very polished.
Sound: Sadly no voice acting, but everything from the music to the sound effects is top notch
Gameplay: It is a visual novel, so gameplay is rather limited, but the story and characters are great.
Graphics: Great character designs and the art is really good.
Sound: The soundtrack is great, but the game lacks voice acting.
The market is flooded by adult visual novels that places style over substance. Lucy Got Problems avoids this trend by delivering a game that not only looks great, but which also has a laugh out loud story that is worth your time. If you can appreciate a story that isn’t afraid to indulge in fanservice and humor, then Lucy Got Problems deserves a spot in your library. It is still a very ecchi title, even in its “censored” format, but if you are a fan of the genre, then you will definitely have a blast
There is no denying that the survival and battle royale shooter genres are thriving at the moment, but despite the crowded market, there’s always room for more good ones. One title that definitely looks like it is worth keeping an eye on is the upcoming Ring of Elysium from Tencent Games. Ring of Elysium, which was formerly known as Europa, is heading for Steam Early Access on 19 September and players can already wishlist the game on the store page
If you are tired of boring licensed tracks by bands you’ve never heard of and dull brown shooters then Beat Hazard is a revelation. The ability to play to your own music collection is nice and the visuals, while over the top, are certainly colorful. It’s not something you are going to be constantly playing, but you will find yourself coming back to it.
Gameplay: As long as you have music you’ll have fun.
Graphics: Retina searing bursts of color.
Sound: Depending on your taste this is obviously the best part of the game
Black Desert Online, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game from Pearl Abyss has reached a new milestone with more than 10 million registered users. This is quite an accomplishment, but not all that surprising for a game that has been growing in leaps and bounds since its initial release.
Part of the reason why Black Desert Online has continued to draw in players is the massive visual overhaul that it has recently received. The game was definitely not a slouch in the graphics department, but Pearl Abyss couldn’t resist using the new technology that has become available since the initial release to take things to the next level. This means that the game now boast features such as physically based rendering, volumetric clouds, HDR output, improved post processing, lighting and atmospheric scattering techniques, realistic cloth simulation and much more
Bus Simulator 18 walks a fine line between being a full-on simulator and offering an accessible experience for newcomers to the genre. It features a fairly sizable city, a number of licensed buses as well as the opportunity to not only drive your buses, but also manage your company and create new routes. A couple of areas of the game could still benefit from some improvements, but what is on offer is still very enjoyable, especially if you have a hankering for coasting around in a bus. A steering wheel is highly recommended for the most immersive experience and you need fairly beefy hardware to run the game properly, but overall we can definitely recommend it.
Gameplay: Create bus routes, drive them and make money while trying not to mess up.
Graphics: Plenty of good along with a couple of not so good.
Sound: Authentic sounds and decent music, but those chattering passengers become repetitive a little too soon